Russian figure skating news & updates in 2022

Sylvia

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Konstantin Lesik's video interview with Andrei Mozalev is embedded and summarized in this article (May 19):

Lesik also did an interview with Mozalev's coach, Kirill Davydenko:
 

Sylvia

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Interview with ice dancer Sofia Shevchenko (May 23):

Intro by Anastasia Panina (machine translated):
This season, the duet Sofia Shevchenko - Igor Eremenko ceased to exist . They were considered one of the most promising young couples in Russia. A successful junior career - not a season without medals at the Grand Prix stages, two finals, including a victorious one, the bronze of the World Championship, a victory at the Russian championship, his own style.
How did it happen that in the middle of the Olympic season Sophia and Igor asked coaches Irina Zhuk and Alexander Svinin to pause their careers, and who initiated such a decision? Why do skaters lose their childhood dream “I want to become a champion” and how does the relationship with coaches affect this? How does an athlete feel when the judges at the competition come up and say “you were asked to put lower”? Where can one get the moral strength for an unpleasant conversation, and why can't one ignore the inner voice?
Response of her coaches:
“We will not comment on the grievances of the departed athlete in any way. I can only say that our team has never set up its athletes in competitions, never asked the judges to put someone higher or lower. We wish Sofya success in the coaching field,” [statement by Irina Zhuk and Alexander Svinin].

ETA some machine translated excerpts from Shevchenko's interview (I have much respect for what she said):

- Did the pandemic, the difficulties associated with it, the lack of competition for everyone in general and for you and Igor personally affect the fact that the goal was lost?
[Shevchenko]- Of course, they did. It is a collection of things that slowly accumulate, accumulate ... At first it is easy to close your eyes to many of them, but each time it becomes more and more difficult. I've just never been in blinders, and besides sports, there have always been many things in my life. Athletes spend only five percent of their time behind the rink, and, by the way, there is a whole life outside the rink.
The situation was also complicated by the fact that my views did not coincide with the coaches, with the people with whom I just spent all my time and with whom I went to a big goal. After the free program at the Grand Prix in Japan, we went to the traditional analysis with Irina Vladimirovna (Zhuk) , and after it I realized that everything: on the "Dream" (the name of the rink where Sophia trained - ed.) I no longer ride. Not because someone is bad, not because I am angry or offended, but because we see the future path differently. I am very grateful for everything that Irina Vladimirovna, Alexander Vasilievich and the whole team have done for me. They helped me become who I am. And this girl really impresses me. (laughs)


- I would say that a person has one life, and many things that are accepted in big-time sports do not take into account that an athlete is a living person, not a robot, he also has bad days. Sport is a segment of life that will end someday, and if you kill yourself in this segment of life ... it is unlikely that something will develop further. Some never recover.
If you are a coach who has been leading an athlete since childhood, you are responsible for him. His fate is in your hands. If he wants to move on, well, let him go. And if you don’t let go, it turns out that it doesn’t matter to you that he becomes a champion. It is important for you that he does not become a champion with anyone else.


Perhaps I will have a great coaching career and I will still know the pain of losing students, but I still believe that human values should prevail over sporting ones. If the athlete wants to go further, let him go, even if it hurts you. Do not break fate: what if this is a great talent! A very large number of athletes do not reach the level that they could show, because they are faced with such. Igor and I, perhaps, could also achieve a lot in big-time sports.

Stop and listen to yourself. Both life and sport are an endless framework, how you can and how you can’t do it. In fact, there are no concepts of "right" and "wrong", there is no negative experience. Whoever expects anything from you, this is your life, you have only one. You have to live it the way you want. The choice in favor of yourself is difficult, but it will lead to success. Even if you don’t see an alternative yet, but you already understand that you don’t want to live the way you live now, you need to change something. And don't be afraid of it. People are afraid of losing a little, although in fact, having risked once, they only gain more. Perhaps it would be appropriate to say here that desperate times call for desperate actions. No one can decide for you where you want to go in life.

... And, of course, thanks to Igor. For the fact that he appeared in my life and is in it until now. He became my family, we went through a lot and, I hope, we will go even more. Thanks to his wonderful family - I saw only support from them. They are real people with a capital letter.
 
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Ka3sha

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Bigbird

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Nothing new really. Anastasia Gub. alluded to the pressures in Moscow before leaving to train with her new coach and continuing her sports career in Georgia. These girls IMHO who can push back are the strong ones.
 

allezfred

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Many European countries are also part of a system (can't remember the name) where individuals are treated as a 'local' for medical care in other European countries. For example, if a Swede required medical treatment in Germany, they'd be treated as a German Sometimes this means paying upfront then being reimbursed, but you can still receive care the same way as a citizen.
European Health Insurance Card
 

Sylvia

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"The Russian Figure Skating Championship of the 2022/23 season will be held in Krasnoyarsk on December 20-25, according to the official website of the Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKKR).

The national championship among juniors is scheduled for February 14-18, 2023 in Perm."

"Test skates of the Russian national team skaters before the start of the new season may take place in September in Moscow, Alexander Kogan, Director General of the Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKKR), told reporters."

ETA from the fsrussia.ru website today (May 25):

Alexander Kogan was elected the Director General of the FFKKR.
Alexander Gorshkov was unanimously elected President of the FFKKR.
Delegates of the reporting and election conference of the FFKKR elected 5 vice-presidents: Vera Bogush, Vladimir Gribanov, Sergei Kononykhin, Irina Raber and Anton Sikharulidze (ETA that I read that Sikharulidze is the current president of the St. Petersburg federation).
 
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Karen-W

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This Jewish girl is planning to go back to a movie and Asian food for Christmas Day. No way am I going to add my eyeballs to Russian Nats this year. I hope Ted agrees.
We really need to lobby the JSF to get their broadcast contract amended to allow for international viewers to easily watch their Nats. Ted can go to Japan and be their English-language commentator instead of making a trip to Krasnoyarsk.
 

Sylvia

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"The Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKKR) has published a calendar of stages of the Russian Grand Prix of the 2022/23 season on its website.
The Russian Grand Prix starts on October 21-23 in Moscow. The second stage will take place on October 28-30 in Sochi, the third - on November 4-6 in Kazan, the fourth - on November 11-13 in Moscow, the fifth - on November 18-20 in Samara, the sixth - on November 25-27 in Perm. The final of the Russian Grand Prix will be held from 3 to 5 March in Sochi.
The Russian Championship is scheduled for December 20-25 in Krasnoyarsk, and the First Channel Cup will take place on January 21-22 in Moscow."
 

hanca

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"The Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKKR) has published a calendar of stages of the Russian Grand Prix of the 2022/23 season on its website.
The Russian Grand Prix starts on October 21-23 in Moscow. The second stage will take place on October 28-30 in Sochi, the third - on November 4-6 in Kazan, the fourth - on November 11-13 in Moscow, the fifth - on November 18-20 in Samara, the sixth - on November 25-27 in Perm. The final of the Russian Grand Prix will be held from 3 to 5 March in Sochi.
The Russian Championship is scheduled for December 20-25 in Krasnoyarsk, and the First Channel Cup will take place on January 21-22 in Moscow."
They won’t do their usual Russian cups for qualifying to the nationals, they will use these Russian grand prix events instead. It seems to me that they just took Russian cups, renamed it to grand prix, added one extra event (there were five cups plus cup final andthere will be six grand prix plus final) and that’s the whole thing.
 

Amy L

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They won’t do their usual Russian cups for qualifying to the nationals, they will use these Russian grand prix events instead. It seems to me that they just took Russian cups, renamed it to grand prix, added one extra event (there were five cups plus cup final andthere will be six grand prix plus final) and that’s the whole thing.
Before you posted, I was going to look up what they were going to do with the Russian Cup series. It seemed ludicrous to have both the cups and grand prix going in the same year. Why risk all of those training injuries to do 10+ competitions a year with no hope to go anywhere internationally? But I see this is more like a rebrand. I know the PR explanation is that they'll have the GP with the real firepower and the world will envy not getting to see the best skaters. Oh. Welp.
 

hoptoad

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We really need to lobby the JSF to get their broadcast contract amended to allow for international viewers to easily watch their Nats. Ted can go to Japan and be their English-language commentator instead of making a trip to Krasnoyarsk.
That would be fabulous!!
 

hanca

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The positive thing as I see it, everyone will have to qualify to the nationals through the Russian GP events. As they won’t be at the ‘normal’ GP events, they won’t be able to qualify to the nationals through competing at the (normal) GP events or through getting into JGPF. I hated in the past that skaters who were great the previous season were easily getting place at the nationals because they had a GP event and then the skaters who were great the current season did not qualify to the nationals because there were no spots left. For example, one season Sotskova got her place at the nationals because she had a GP event (where she scored 160) and then Sakhanovich did not managed to qualify to the nationals even though she scored internationally 200 points. In pairs the situation was even worse. 12 spots at the nationals, six pairs had GP events, five got into JGPF and suddenly there was only one spot left for skaters to qualify through Russian cups. One wondered why having five events if they were all fighting for one spot. Now they will all have to earn it as the same competitions. I think it will be better.
 

Karen-W

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They won’t do their usual Russian cups for qualifying to the nationals, they will use these Russian grand prix events instead. It seems to me that they just took Russian cups, renamed it to grand prix, added one extra event (there were five cups plus cup final andthere will be six grand prix plus final) and that’s the whole thing.
So, is there a reason why they're holding two in Moscow and none in St Petersburg? I find it really curious that RusNats was moved from SP to Krasnoyarsk, and now none of the re-branded RC events are being held there either.
Before you posted, I was going to look up what they were going to do with the Russian Cup series. It seemed ludicrous to have both the cups and grand prix going in the same year. Why risk all of those training injuries to do 10+ competitions a year with no hope to go anywhere internationally? But I see this is more like a rebrand. I know the PR explanation is that they'll have the GP with the real firepower and the world will envy not getting to see the best skaters. Oh. Welp.
LOL. Yah, no. I don't think the rest of the world will be all that sad to miss out on seeing the "best" skaters. Except pairs. Russian pairs will definitely be missed internationally. I can't say that Russian skaters in the other disciplines will be missed too much. What will be interesting to see is whether or not the RFSF will follow all the new technical rules/changes passed by the ISU as well as any other proposals that may be passed (age minimums).
 

hanca

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So, is there a reason why they're holding two in Moscow and none in St Petersburg? I find it really curious that RusNats was moved from SP to Krasnoyarsk, and now none of the re-branded RC events are being held there either.

I don’t know why there is none in St Petersburg but I can’t see anything surprising that there are two in Moscow. There is a lof of skaters from Moscow, so why make all of them travel? Moscow has more skating schools than any other place in Russia.
 

ChelleC

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Are they going to make their own versions of Euros and Worlds, too, or just be efficient and have one event called RussianNationalEuroWorld Championships?
The dates for the Channel One Cup looks like it could be the same weekend as Euros.
 

Ka3sha

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I do think that it is reasonable to have Russian Cup events and other domestic competitions on the same dates as GP events/Euros/Worlds.
Reason #1: both skaters and coaches already got used to these dates and plan the off season preparations according to this scheme and schedule. Also, Rus Fed managed to keep it even during the Covid season.
Reason #2: We live in a rather quickly changing world. No one knows what may happen in March 2023 and who will be allowed to compete and where. Anyway, it is always better to be prepared and have some competition to look up to
 
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Karen-W

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I do think that it is reasonable to have Russian Cup events and other domestic competitions on the same dates as GP events/Euros/Worlds.
Reason #1: both skaters and coaches already got used to these dates and plan the off season preparations according to this scheme and schedule. Also, Rus Fed managed to keep it even during the Covid season.
Reason #2: We live in a rather quickly changing world. No one knows what may happen in March 2023 and who will be allowed to compete and where. Anyway, it is always better to be prepared and have some competition to look up to
I don't disagree, but it IS disingenuous of the RFSF to re-brand the Russian Cup series into their own Grand Prix series. They can try to convince Russian skating fans that this is somehow equal to the ISU GP but, is anyone really going to fall for that?

And, beyond that, I think more than a season of watching the same skaters over and over again will lose most of its shine. Russia might have a larger pool of skaters from which to draw initially, but how many people are going to pay to see most of these skaters live more than once? And how many people will have the money to do so once the oil/natural gas money dries up and the economy really begins to falter? The RFSF better hope and pray that they're allowed back into ISU competitions by next March.
 

Dobre

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A revamped Russian Cup was what I expected. (What else are they going to do without international athletes?) It will be a little better than the regular Russian Cup because the athletes that would normally be too busy competing internationally will be competing nationally.
 

hanca

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I don't disagree, but it IS disingenuous of the RFSF to re-brand the Russian Cup series into their own Grand Prix series. They can try to convince Russian skating fans that this is somehow equal to the ISU GP but, is anyone really going to fall for that?

Depends what you mean ‘equal’. Will there be foreign competitors? Of course not. But the level of skating in ladies and pairs will very likely be equal or higher than at the international GP events.
 

DreamSkates

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I don't disagree, but it IS disingenuous of the RFSF to re-brand the Russian Cup series into their own Grand Prix series. They can try to convince Russian skating fans that this is somehow equal to the ISU GP but, is anyone really going to fall for that?

And, beyond that, I think more than a season of watching the same skaters over and over again will lose most of its shine. Russia might have a larger pool of skaters from which to draw initially, but how many people are going to pay to see most of these skaters live more than once? And how many people will have the money to do so once the oil/natural gas money dries up and the economy really begins to falter? The RFSF better hope and pray that they're allowed back into ISU competitions by next March.
If they are out all of the GP season, they can also be out of Worlds. They can restart in the fall season of 2023.
 

jamesy

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I do think that it is reasonable to have Russian Cup events and other domestic competitions on the same dates as GP events/Euros/Worlds.
Reason #1: both skaters and coaches already got used to these dates and plan the off season preparations according to this scheme and schedule. Also, Rus Fed managed to keep it even during the Covid season.
Reason #2: We live in a rather quickly changing world. No one knows what may happen in March 2023 and who will be allowed to compete and where. Anyway, it is always better to be prepared and have some competition to look up to
I mean, fine, I guess we could have a logical and reasonable explanation but it's not as much fun as thinking the RusFed were being irrationally petty. :drama:
 

Karen-W

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I mean, fine, I guess we could have a logical and reasonable explanation but it's not as much fun as thinking the RusFed were being irrationally petty. :drama:
The whole re-branding it from the Russian Cup series to the Russian Grand Prix kinda proves that the RusFed IS being irrationally petty, which is what makes this so amusing.

I do question the assertion that the Russian women will be at least equal or better than the rest of the world's women on the GP. I'll give anyone that assertion when it comes to Russian pairs, but there is something so fundamentally unhealthy about the state of women's figure skating in Russia that I don't think most fans will miss their absence - I certainly won't miss their cluttered choreography, and I won't miss the misery that accompanies them when they don't win. And, let's be real... does anyone think that their current top women apart from possibly Tuk will ever compete internationally again? They're not built to last and by the time they're allowed back on the international stage, the current junior wunder-girls will be 2 years older. I'm not convinced most of them will be able to do at 16-17 what they've been able to do at 14-15.
 

PRlady

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I’m pretty sure the “Russian” girls we will see in the ‘23-‘24 season will include Kurakova, Gubanova and the one I can’t spell who went to Italy. Past that it’s a total crapshoot as to who will stick around, be age-eligible under new rules and have high technical content and no career-ending injury.
 

caseyedwards

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The whole re-branding it from the Russian Cup series to the Russian Grand Prix kinda proves that the RusFed IS being irrationally petty, which is what makes this so amusing.

I do question the assertion that the Russian women will be at least equal or better than the rest of the world's women on the GP. I'll give anyone that assertion when it comes to Russian pairs, but there is something so fundamentally unhealthy about the state of women's figure skating in Russia that I don't think most fans will miss their absence - I certainly won't miss their cluttered choreography, and I won't miss the misery that accompanies them when they don't win. And, let's be real... does anyone think that their current top women apart from possibly Tuk will ever compete internationally again? They're not built to last and by the time they're allowed back on the international stage, the current junior wunder-girls will be 2 years older. I'm not convinced most of them will be able to do at 16-17 what they've been able to do at 14-15.
Why should they be built to last? Lol. Nothing wrong with 3 or 4 season career
 

hanca

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I do question the assertion that the Russian women will be at least equal or better than the rest of the world's women on the GP. I'll give anyone that assertion when it comes to Russian pairs, but there is something so fundamentally unhealthy about the state of women's figure skating in Russia that I don't think most fans will miss their absence - I certainly won't miss their cluttered choreography, and I won't miss the misery that accompanies them when they don't win. And, let's be real... does anyone think that their current top women apart from possibly Tuk will ever compete internationally again? They're not built to last and by the time they're allowed back on the international stage, the current junior wunder-girls will be 2 years older. I'm not convinced most of them will be able to do at 16-17 what they've been able to do at 14-15.
You can question it as much as you like, but Russia currently has roughly four or five times as many ladies with quads and triple axels than the rest of the world all together. So even if you split them among six events, I am pretty sure the TES at the Russian ladies event will be higher than the technical level at the international GP event. And it may not be your thing, no one forces you to watch it, but there is no point pretending that the rest of the world is technically as good.

Whether they will be able to do as 16-17 the same what they were doing at 14-15, of course they will. Not all of them, but as the current skaters proved, you can keep your quads even at 18-19 (and Tuktamysheva even in her mid twenties). There is so many of them with the quads/3A, that they can afford to lose a few every years due to puberty. The only question is how the situation will affect them financially. It is possible that in a few years the talent will dry up, if they can’t compete internationally for several years. But I wouldn’t worry about that this coming season yet.
 

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